Bollywood actor Salman Khan might have to spend few more nights in jail as the District and Sessions judge Ravindra Kumar Joshi, who was scheduled to hear the actor’s bail plea in blackbuck poaching case, has been transferred by the Rajasthan High Court as part of “routine transfer”. The district and sessions court judge is now expected to pronounce the verdict at 2 pm today.
The 52-year-old actor was sentenced to five years of imprisonment after being held guilty of killing two blackbucks in Jodhpur during the shooting of his movie Hum Saath Saath Hain in 1998. However, while convicting Salman, the trial court acquitted actors Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre and a local, Dushyant Singh, giving them the “benefit of doubt” for the incident. The actor is currently lodged in Jodhpur Central Jail.
11:20 am: Verdict on Salman Khan’s bail plea is expected at 2 pm.
11:10 am: Verdict will be pronounced post-lunch, we have concluded our arguments, says Salman Khan’s lawyer Hastimal Saraswat
10:30 am: Judge Ravinder Kumar resumes hearing on Bollywood actor Salman Khan’s bail plea.
09:42 am: District and Sessions judge Ravindra Kumar Joshi arrives at Jodhpur court.
09:10 am: As per reports, Joshi will be replaced by Chandra Kumar Sonagra, though it is still not yet clear whether he will take charge on Saturday or not.
09:07 am: The website on Friday night listed that Judge Ravindra Kumar Joshi’s was transferred to Sirohi.
09:03 am: On Friday, judge Joshi had reserved the bail plea hearing in the blackbuck poaching case.
08:10 am: The court heard arguments on the suspension of sentence and bail application before deferring the matter till Saturday.
07:35 am: In his arguments, defence counsel Mahesh Bora said there were various loopholes in the investigation. He argued that no investigation in any of the cases of poaching proved that Salman used firearms. “We have argued that the eyewitness in the case was not reliable,” Bora said, adding, “It was never proved that he had firearms. Even the pellets recovered from him did not corroborate the story of the prosecution. Also, the first post-mortem report was completely dumped.”
07:10 am: “Besides this, he (Salman Khan) has been acquitted in all the other cases of poaching on the basis of the prosecution’s failure to prove the allegations and in such a condition, his sentence should be suspended,” he argued.
06:50 am: But objecting to the defence counsel’s arguments, public prosecutor Pokar Ram Bishnoi urged the court to seek the record of the case from the trial court and go through it.
06:23 am: He argued that this was the only case where an eyewitness was available and the prosecution has succeeded in proving the crime beyond any doubt.